Bam’s got talent!

Bam bounces out of school full of enthusiasm and excitement (yes, even more than usual!). The reason for his enthusiasm? He’s going to enter the school talent contest.

‘I need you to print off some jokes from the internet, I’m going to perform a comedy act’

Eek, it’s really hard to make people laugh, a little knot appears in my stomach but I muster up lots of encouragement and put my own fears to one side.

Hubby prints off some truly corny jokes – you know the ones that make you groan ‘What did the duvet say to the bed? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Did that make you groan?

Bam sets to work planning his script for the auditions. He works really, really hard. Night after night he sits in his bed planning and writing.

The day of the auditions arrives. I’m in awe of his confidence, there is no doubt in his mind that he has this nailed.

I’m working all day on the day of the auditions, so I ask him to text me from Mum’s phone as she is collecting him from school. School kicking out time arrives and I eagerly await the text. My phone rings…..he’s done it!!! He’s got through. 12 people out of 200 were chosen….he’s as high as a kite. So he should be, what an amazing achievement.

More nights of writing and rehearsing ahead to prepare himself  for the finals. I’m oozing with pride, having the confidence to get up and perform in front of his peers is amazing.

He didn’t win in the finals but that didn’t matter. People voted for him – my confident, bubbly and funny Bam. You always make me smile young man, seems that you have the talent to make other people smile too. Next stop Britain’s Got Talent!

Mother’s bond with her children

I don’t think there’s anything stonger than the bond between a mother and her children.

I know my boys inside out. I know what they like to do, what they like to eat and what makes them happy and sad (well most of the time anyway!)

I know it won’t always be this way and as they grow I won’t know where they are all of the time or what they are thinking. That transition will be tough but I hope they will know that I’ll always be there for them.

Mops wrote down the reasons why he loves his Mum at school this week. Here goes:

  • She’s kind to me
  • She let’s me play on my DS XL (Laughed how this one made it so high up on the list!)
  • She reads me bedtime stories
  • Nice food

Let’s hope he always thinks I make ‘nice food’ and pops in for a roast dinner on a Sunday once he has flown the nest!

Thanks boys for making me smile everyday, I love you to the moon and back!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely Mums out there!

‘Don’t worry you’re not last!’

A few years ago I ran my first ever half marathon.  I ran with a friend for a charity and I have to say it really was one of the toughest 2.5 hours of my life. Ok, ok, so maybe not as tough as childbirth, particularly boy number one, but even so it was a tough couple of hours.  I remember sitting down on the tube platform after the race waiting for my train thinking I don’t think I’m going to be able to get up to get on the train. My stomach was hurting and I felt faint. It was then that I swore I would never run a half marathon again. I convinced myself that actually it wasn’t for me, I just wasn’t built for it.

So why yesterday did I find myself attempting to run a half marathon again! This time a few years older but clearly not wiser and on my own. Well not totally on my own as 1,999 other people were running too but I wasn’t running with a buddy.

Running a half marathon is tough, both mentally and physically. Training for it is also tough. Hauling my bottom off the sofa over the Christmas period was tricky…but I wanted to do this!

When I arrived at the start line yesterday morning it was bloody freezing – minus 4! The sun was shining and the atmosphere was building. I felt self conscious, standing at the start line on my own…no running belt, no gels, no buddies and I was clutching my phone. Fortunately, a lovely fellow runner, also clutching her phone, started chatting to me about the run and then I felt a bit more comfortable.

Within a few minutes we were off, my new running buddy and I spent the first 5 miles together chatting. The running community is an amazing bunch, everybody is so supportive and caring.

Once I left my running buddy, I was on my own..running around my home town as I have done many times before but this time was different, I was racing, I was proving to myself that I could do this! (again!)

I actually spent the rest of the run on my own, with the odd ‘keep going’ from fellow runners. I was also very lucky to have some supporters that braved the cold to cheer me on. Just knowing that I had friends dotted around the course kept me motivated to continue.

When I got to mile 11, I could have easily given up. I had only run up to mile 11 in training so mentally I thought that I wouldn’t be able to run any further. There was a small hill ahead, I was tired. I had pushed myself to go this far but wasn’t sure if I could continue for that extra mile or two! When you reach that point it’s tough, especially when you are running on your own.

But ,I did keep going, the thought of my boys at the finish line and a hot bubble bath were enough, I was determined to run the last two miles and make them proud!

They were there at the finish line, shouting ‘Mum’ and saying ‘don’t worry, you’re not last’.

I had done it, I had reached the finish line…I was faster than when I ran a half marathon three years ago and I felt better physically too. So last night I felt proud, I hope that my boys did too.

Oh and the bubble bath was the best bubble bath I have EVER had!

Juggling act

I’m no circus performer but any parent will be an expert at juggling. Raising kids, running a house, working, a social life and ‘me’ time. Oh and then there’s the washing, this is actually a part time job in itself – where on earth does it all come from?!

Unfortunately planning a social life and ‘me’ time tends to be put to the bottom of the pile. Who has time to plan a social life and as for ‘me’ time well that’s normally 9pm to 10pm catching up on the days events on facebook or maybe a bit of TV.

I love my job and I love my kids but juggling the two and ‘life’ can and does have it challenges, particularly when the two cross over as it did for me just before Christmas.

Picture the scene….I’m wandering around the lake on my day off from work with my lovely friend, her two boys, my two boys and her dog. The boys were running, enjoying the freedom and the dog was joining in the fun.

The dog then spotted a rubber ball in the stream that somebody had left there.  One of the boys grabbed it out of the stream and started throwing the ball for the very excited dog. There were lots of giggles and shouting…cue my mobile ringing…a work call. I quickly say to my friend ‘it’s a work call, I just need to get this’.

I’m chatting to my colleague, the giggling and shouting still around me. Without warning, I suddenly have this hard bang to the back of my head! Mops had thrown the ball for the dog and it had hit me on the head….really hard….in fact it was eye wateringly hard. In a stunned state I calmly let my colleague know that I have been hit on the head by a ball, just to cover for my short delay in responding. In normal circumstances I would have let out a little bit of a scream or an ouch but something inside me allows me to remain professional or may be I was still in a stunned state!

My friend at this point is chuckling away…but I’m determined, I can remain professional. I complete the call. We both have a chuckle…..my hair is dishevelled, with a splattering of mud and stream water – a small reminder of how glamorous motherhood can be!

So keeping all of the juggling balls of life in the air has its challenges but its ok if we drop one every now and then…well as long as it doesn’t whack you on the back of the head!

This post is dedicated to my lovely, lovely, friend – thanks for always being there xxx

New year’s resolutions!

Happy new year… I’m sure I’m not the only one that is feeling tired today.  After a night of partying with friends and the kids it’s feels like it’s the longest day EVER. A fab night was had by all but I’m now sitting here wishing the kids bedtime to hurry up so I can go to bed too. We’re nearly there, aren’t we?

New year is always a time for reflection and a time to think about plans for the future. I don’t make new year’s resolutions as such but I do try to think of a few things that I’d like to achieve.  This year I am kicking the year off with a half marathon on the 22nd January. I also have plans to travel. Unfortunately not travelling around the world for weeks on end but at least a visit to a place that I have always wanted to go to rather than the cheapest package deal we can find in the outrageously expensive school holidays.

Out of interest I asked my boys about their new year’s resolutions. Bam’s response was to eat more chocolate. Good call Bam, life’s definitely better with chocolate. I did have a chuckle that while most people in the world are making promises to eat less, his is to eat more! He then followed up with ‘and I want to help people, more than I already do’. That’s my boy, he has a very kind heart.

Mops’ new year’s resolution is to go to more water parks (random!) and to have more money. Apparently he wants ‘better stuff’. I wonder what ‘better stuff’ means to a five year old?

Whether you make new years resolutions or not, I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2017! Is it bedtime yet…..zzzzzz!

Christmas: from a Mum’s perspective

At the end of November my family gave to me…a few days of internet searching for Black Friday deals for thee!

At the beginning of December my family gave to me….A few evenings of card writing glee!

On the 2nd week of December my family gave to me…A minor panic as I realised the Christmas Supermarket delivery slots were no longer free!

Also on the 2nd week of December my family gave to me….A Mums nights out or maybe three!

Also on the 2nd week of December my family gave to me….a nativity concert, a reindeer run and a carol concert to see!

Also on the 2nd week of December my family gave to me….decoration (firstly by the kids, then Mummy) of the Christmas tree!

On the 3rd week of December my family gave to me….Wrapping (what feels like) hundreds of presents for all of my family to receive!

Also on the 3rd week of December my family gave to me….A stinking cold for thee!

On the 25th December my family gave to me….children smiling, laughing and squealing with delight – what every Mum wants to see!

Now please somebody bring me a large cup of tea!!

Life in the fast lane…

I’ve been reflecting recently on the family life that Mops, my youngest boy, is part of. Life is very chaotic, loud and active. For him life has always been like that so I wonder if he actually realises his life might be ever so slightly different to his friends in the classroom?

He knows all about Bam’s conditions and how they affect him. He’s very open about them and will chat to his friends about it. He’s adapts brilliantly to life with Bam. He’s so patient, much more patient than anybody else living in our household! Even if he has to ask the same question to Bam five times over, he’ll do it and persevere. I wonder if that’s because he knows he needs to be patient or because that’s his normal.

I often wonder that as Mops gets older, he’ll begin to realise how he adapts to living with a brother with ADHD and epilepsy. Does he enjoy charging around all of the time with his brother, climbing trees, scooting, generally living life in the fast lane or is he wondering about the next time he’ll get to sit and relax? I suspect it’s probably a little bit of both!

This weekend I took Mops out for some lunch, just him and I. So as we sat in Subway munching on our sandwich creations we chatted about school, play, friends etc. It was as we were walking through town I asked Mops if he had enjoyed his lunch. His reply was very simple but very powerful ‘Yes Mum, I have, it’s been very relaxing!’ So he does like a bit of down time, just to sit, just to chill, just to be able to eat a sandwich rather than gulp it down.

He’s still very young (5) but I wonder how he’ll handle family life in the future. I have a feeling he’ll adapt, just as he always has. Love you Mops for everything you do and I know Bam does too.

Christmas comes early!

Christmas causes excitement in every house. In our house, it means Bam’s ADHD is heightened. He has even more energy and is extra, extra bouncy!

So I know I need to be prepared. Do I really need to prepare for it in October though? Sadly, it would appear that I do!

Following a family stroll at the weekend we took the boys for a drink and cake at our local garden centre. We took a stroll around the centre afterwards. Hubby and Mops ventured off to the toilet leaving Bam and I looking at the fish.

It was then that he started bouncing around like an excited puppy. ‘Mum, Mum, there’s Christmas stuff in there! I can see a light twinkling’ I was totally unprepared for this, we have only just entered Autumn – Christmas had only been a fleeting thought in my mind, nothing more.  Noooo, it can’t be, it’s the 1st October! Noooooo!

Sure enough, I glanced into the shop to see the smallest twinkling light shining through the corner of a window. The boy’s Christmas radar was on fire!!

‘Come on Mum, let’s go and have a look?’ Before I had a chance to reply, he was gone in a flash, full of energy and squeals!

As I ran through the sliding doors in an attempt to catch up with him I could see he was right….indeed the shop was full of Santa, Rudolph, snowmen etc, all staring at me with a smug cheery smile.

Bam was running through the shop, cuddling big polar bears, picking up Santas and diving into an igloo full of yet more Santas and more snowmen. All the time with a beaming smile from ear to ear!

Uh oh, Christmas 2016 here we come…in October!

Any tips on  managing the excitement over the Christmas period? All tips gratefully received!

A night on a tiny island!

I’m not really a camper. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love being outdoors but I like to go home to my bed in the evening.

I have only been camping once as a girl guide. This experience ended with me waking up in the morning to find myself outside the tent in the middle of a very wet field. Unfortunately, I was sleeping by the tent door, there were six girls in the tent and when one rolled over we all rolled and I fell out! Quite funny when I look back now but at the time I told my Mum I would never ever go camping again! (dramatic, I know!)

And I haven’t been camping again..until this weekend. You can imagine my Mum’s amusement when my boys told her we were off camping on Brownsea Island!

Brownsea Island has been on my list of places to visit for quite a while now. The island is largely owned by the National Trust. As National Trust members, I’m often looking at their website to plan our next adventure. Brownsea Island promises beauty, peace and fun. The island is small, about two-thirds of a mile by 1 and half miles. There are no cars or shops on the island apart from the National Trust shop and cafe, which both close at 5pm.

With no plans for the Summer Bank Holiday, I thought I’d check out Brownsea Island. Whilst browsing the website I spotted an advert inviting families to camp on the island- tent and cooking facilities provided! So only sleeping bags, clothes and crockery needed! Sounds simple enough? Hmm, a night on an island…sounded like an opportunity not to be missed, so we signed up!

With everybody loaded up with a bag full of stuff, we headed off on our adventure! As soon as we set foot on the island I was immediately struck by its beauty.  As we walked from the ferry port to the campsite on the other side of the island (without the bags, the lovely National Trust staff transported them to the campsite for us!)  it became apparent that this was indeed a very special island. An island steeped in history, bursting with beauty and an amazing amount of different wildlife. We spotted the famous Brownsea red squirrels, deer and peacocks. There were lots of other birds too but my boys make far too much noise and move far too quickly for us to be in with a chance of spotting any!

We arrived at the campsite, erected our tent and got out the burgers!! There’s something magical about being on the island after it closes. Although I have to admit I was slightly nervous about being on an island with no way of being able to get off apart from a very chilly swim!

It was a lovely warm evening so we  took the boys to the beach while we sipped on a glass of wine and watched the sun go down and the stars begin to sparkle! A perfect,relaxing evening!

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Thank you, National Trust for giving us access to this beautiful island and for helping our family to have a truly memorable time!

Oh and the night in the tent, well it was ok – I don’t think I’ll become a seasoned camper but I would do the odd night here and there!

Super powers…

Last week I was fortunate enough to spend a week on holiday with my boys and enjoyed some proper family time. Away from the laptop, household chores and the general routine of life.

Whilst on holiday I was really struck by the boundless amount of energy Bam has. I know he has always had lots of energy but after spending a week with him it’s clear that boy is actually a Duracell bunny!

I watched him effortlessly climb large sand dunes in hot temperatures whilst the rest of us plod up the dunes, resting along the way!

I have watched him climb a small mountain in minutes. We’re still at the bottom while he’s nearing the top.

I have watched him run over and over into the waves, jumping each one enthusiastically.

And, whilst the rest of us have taken advantage of a lay in, he’s up pottering around eager to start his day.

I’m in awe of the energy that he has and I hope in the future he uses it wisely. It’s a super power that if used well could be a platform to a successful future.